Adding in skills in TorgE

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Gargoyle
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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:45 am

I wouldn't add them; Profession can do Athletics or Larceny, so having them separate adds nothing... but Insight is the only one I'd really have a problem with. I dislike too many social skills; I feel like role-playing is reduced to die rolls if you have too much of that.
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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:48 am

Oh, I'm not saying that Mind is a useless stat. I just feel that it is the one most likely to be neglected as it is the least threatening one to dump.

Off the top of my head, the main threats are:
Strength: Determines Toughness and contributes to Death and Defeat.
Dexterity: Determines the baseline for getting hit and Maneuver.
Mind: Determines the baseline for Trick.
Charisma: Determines the baseline for Taunt and contributes to surviving against Corruption.
Spirit: Determines the baseline for Intimidate, establishes ease for reconnection and soaking damage, governs the amount of Shock, and contributes to Death and Defeat.

There are plenty of examples of how Mind is useful, but its direct connection to survival is more tenuous than the others, in my observation. Charisma is kind of a dump stat, but that gets real sketchy in Orrorsh. At the very least, both of those stats pale in comparison to the others. They certainly pale in comparison to Spirit, which needs no help in having more usefulness added.
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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:11 am

Kuildeous wrote:Oh, I'm not saying that Mind is a useless stat. I just feel that it is the one most likely to be neglected as it is the least threatening one to dump.

Off the top of my head, the main threats are:
Strength: Determines Toughness and contributes to Death and Defeat.
Dexterity: Determines the baseline for getting hit and Maneuver.
Mind: Determines the baseline for Trick.
Charisma: Determines the baseline for Taunt and contributes to surviving against Corruption.
Spirit: Determines the baseline for Intimidate, establishes ease for reconnection and soaking damage, governs the amount of Shock, and contributes to Death and Defeat.

There are plenty of examples of how Mind is useful, but its direct connection to survival is more tenuous than the others, in my observation. Charisma is kind of a dump stat, but that gets real sketchy in Orrorsh. At the very least, both of those stats pale in comparison to the others. They certainly pale in comparison to Spirit, which needs no help in having more usefulness added.


I have to agree, its connection to "winning" the game is more indirect, but I don't feel it needs to be more useful. With Perception gone, all the skills that fell under it are now under Mind. So 15/40 or 38% of the skill list are under Mind, including Profession which covers everything not listed. So for utility: research, various miscellaneous problems, or certain dramatic skill resolutions, a high Mind is probably going to be of great benefit in the group. And with Trick it's not useless in combat. I feel like if not having a dump stat was a goal, they nailed it.
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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Ange Gardien » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:27 pm

I went with fewer skills.
Evidence analysis (which I got rid off) is the absolute way for Insight if you need it.
Larceny is well covered, either by profession or lockpicking...
Acrobatics, I'll go with maneuver or dodge. Maneuver is my main choice for everything athletic.

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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby TorgHacker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:34 pm

Gargoyle wrote:
I have to agree, its connection to "winning" the game is more indirect, but I don't feel it needs to be more useful. With Perception gone, all the skills that fell under it are now under Mind. So 15/40 or 38% of the skill list are under Mind, including Profession which covers everything not listed. So for utility: research, various miscellaneous problems, or certain dramatic skill resolutions, a high Mind is probably going to be of great benefit in the group. And with Trick it's not useless in combat. I feel like if not having a dump stat was a goal, they nailed it.


It was. :D

Interesting development tidbit...there was a point where we were only going with _four_ Attributes. Charisma was gone. In a way I still would have preferred that (so there would basically be an "agile" and "tough" mental and physical attribute).
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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby MAJT » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:04 pm

TorgHacker wrote:It was. :D
Interesting development tidbit...there was a point where we were only going with _four_ Attributes. Charisma was gone. In a way I still would have preferred that (so there would basically be an "agile" and "tough" mental and physical attribute).


That sounds like wielding the knife too deeply.

Five stats seems the best; and none of them are immediate dump stats. That works well.

Still not sure why there isn't a 'physical' skill, because there's a lot of climbing and jumping and running in the action movies that Torg tries to emulate.

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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Spatula » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:48 pm

MAJT wrote:Still not sure why there isn't a 'physical' skill, because there's a lot of climbing and jumping and running in the action movies that Torg tries to emulate.

I feel like such a skill would be the antithesis of actually emulating action movies.

An issue with most skill-based RPGs (well, all the ones I've seen, anyway; maybe some I haven't have solved this issue) is the gulf in capability between the skilled and unskilled. Skilled characters have higher numbers/greater odds of success/etc. and tend to get more so over time as they continue to invest in what they're good at. That leads to harder and harder-to-reach targets, in order to challenge the skilled characters. Which in turn leaves the unskilled characters in the dust. They can then either (a) invest significant resources in skills that don't speak to their archetype just so they can have a minuscule chance of success, as opposed to almost no chance, with those activities or (b) ignore those skills entirely, double down on specializing in their archetype's schtick, and rely on the other characters (or magic, or whatever) to get them through those situations. Most players, IME, go with (b) in skill systems, resulting in a team of characters that are amazing at their "thing" and often dreadful outside of it. (there are other factors at play, though, such as how fine-grained the skills are, what's the probability spread on skill checks, and so on)

That's fine to an extent - everyone should have their niche where they can overcome obstacles that would completely stop the others. But there are some activities that the whole group has to engage in, and for those actions there's no need for niche protection. I would go so far as to say the game is harmed to some extent by adding niche protection to actions that the whole group is expected to participate and succeed in.

Anyway, one of the hallmarks of typical action/adventure stories is that the protagonists are almost always broadly competent. They can all run, climb, jump and so on. They can all do something in a fight, even if that's just distracting the bad guys, or hitting them in the back of the head with a lamp. They can escape in a chase from physically superior foes. They have some schtick that sets them apart from others but they can all handle the "basics" of adventuring within their particular milieu.

That, to me, is an argument for setting the gap between the physical and the non-physical characters as narrow as possible for common adventuring activities - and keeping it narrow! - if one is attempting to emulate the genre. It's also why I don't particularly care for "perception" skills, to be honest.

The gap can already be fairly substantial between a character that's a weakling and a warrior-type. Adding skill ranks to it just makes it worse because those ranks will mostly be used just by the characters that are already good at physical tasks (it also devalues the elf's Grace ability). And if a character does want to improve at physical activities, they can spend their XP on boosting Strength and/or Dexterity.

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Re: Adding in skills in TorgE

Postby Blightcrawler » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:10 pm

MAJT wrote:Still not sure why there isn't a 'physical' skill, because there's a lot of climbing and jumping and running in the action movies that Torg tries to emulate.


Sounds like an argument for exactly why there isn't.

Making a "physical" skill would further disadvantage non-physical oriented character concepts, making yet another skill to have some coverage to avoid untrained penalties which will constantly be called for.

If a character in a movie is physically trained, it's usually because of a profession, and they typically get to showcase it by doing things above and beyond what the other characters can do. If it's climbing, jumping, or running, it's usually focused on one of those (or something similar, like acrobatics or weight lifting), not all of them equally.


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